The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at barbican.org.uk
The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at barbican.org.uk

The Art of Change: Disability – Jenny Jokela

Throughout 2018, we’re working with The Smalls to present twelve new short films directed by emerging filmmakers in response to the themes explored by The Art of Change.

This month, Jenny Jokela shares the story of paraclimber, Anoushé Husain in a handpainted animation featuring an interview with Anoushé where she discusses the concept of difference, confidence and resilience.

We chatted to Jenny to find out more about her work and the idea behind this film.

How does your film respond to this month’s theme – Disability?

Being a non-disabled person I felt very strongly about making sure my film would in no way be about my own interpretations of what I think it might be like to live with a disability as that really is not something a non-disabled person could ever fully comprehend.

What Anoushé was speaking about felt very relevant for anyone to hear

Before the project, I had listened to Tough Girl podcast where Sarah Williams interviewed Anoushé Husain. Anoushé was born missing an arm below the elbow, is a cancer survivor and comes from an ethnic minority. She is also currently ranked 2nd in the UK in paraclimbing, an ambassador for LimbPower and winner of the 2017 Asian Women of Achievement Award for Sport. Listening to the interview I was struck by how strong and well-articulated Anoushé is, how she has the ability to with a few sentences make you feel both motivated and inspired on a very deep level. I especially felt impressed by Anoushé’s sense of resilience and guts. What Anoushé was speaking about felt very relevant for anyone to hear, so when this project came along it felt like the perfect opportunity to make the film about her.

Can you explain the process behind the making of your film?

I start by making a few style frames to help me visually articulate my idea to myself as well as to others. The style frames motivate me and get me excited to see the frames in motion. I first do a pencil version of the animation to make sure the timings and movements work, and then paint each frame. For this film I used ink and acrylic paint. I then spend many long hours with my scanner and then do post production.

When art really speaks to me it is something that feels very intimate because it resonates with something quite personal

Do you think art really can be a vehicle for change?

I think in this day and age we see a lot of people talking and expressing their opinions without necessarily thinking it through, and more importantly without listening to what the other person is saying. If you watch a painting, a film, or listen to music you do that by your own choice at your own chosen time. When art really speaks to me it is something that feels very intimate because it resonates with something quite personal, and I can analyze and form my opinion about it in private and in peace. I’m much more likely to take in the message like this, as having someone shouting their opinion in your face only feels alienating.

About Jenny Jokela
Jenny Jokela is an award-winning animation director based in London. Her graduation film Barbeque (Royal College of Art, 2017) has been selected to animation festivals around the world, such as Animafest Zagreb, Glas, Premier Plans and Melbourne International Animation festival. Her work is mainly hand painted animation and most of her personal work explore female representation and femininity. Her clients include Vodafone, School of Life, Vogue Italia, Wonderland, Tank and Next.

jennyjokela.com

Next month, our theme is ‘Finding your voice‘.

Subscribe to the Barbican YouTube channel to see more short films throughout The Art of Change.

Part of The Art of Change, our 2018 annual theme which explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.